Friday, 30 September 2016

Don’t panic Mr Mannering!!!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
I need a break and a chat before I go potty.
(pottier - pottiest)
It was all going so well today, with the TV prep.
I was on a roll. 
Groovi prep - tick
Stamp prep - tick
Then the 5 hours of Gel plate & Stencils....
Hour 1 - tick
Hour 2 - tick
Hour 3 - no tick

4 hours later, and it will have to do, 
or I will be here all blimming night.

So before I get despondent,
let me tell you about the other day...

Dave and I were in the car, driving to work.
Usual conversation....
Dave: I’m thinking about getting a new car.”
Barb: “Same sort?”
Dave: “Yeah. Not new, but newerrr.”
Barb: “Right time of year for it really.”
Dave: “Changing the subject, You know that big house on the corner? They’re building a new oak frame garage.”
Barb: “Same as ours?”
Dave: “No. One storey, much smaller, but the same builders.”
Barb: “I’d like a new porch in the springtime, if we can swing it.”
Dave: “Wow!! Fair enough.”
Barb: ? 
Dave: “A big one?”
Barb: “No. Not too big.”
Dave: “I was driving behind one the other day. A new one. 
Very nice.”
Barb: What ??? 

A PORCH, not a Porsche!

I wish !!!

Oh how we laughed....

Anyway, I’d best crack on.
But before I do, it’s time to announce the winner of this week’s beautiful artwork and £20 gift voucher.....

This time it’s the wonderful art from Julie Owens...
once again showcasing Jayne’s lovely artwork.

It is beautifully executed on wood and mount on card.

And the winner is....drumroll.....


Well done 
Card and Gift Voucher go to you.
(Tell me your address in an email xx)

If you haven’t voted in the International Craft Awards,
here is the link.
We have been nominated for 14 awards!!!!
That’s crazy!! But very, very exciting too.

And did you know, that if you vote there, you go into a draw and may win a Spa break for 2 at Champneys!
Sounds lovely. 

Love & Hugs,


Thursday, 29 September 2016

Windows Galore!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Thursday’s blog is always blue, 
so how about a very simple step by step today,
using the lovely stained Glass Groovi plates 
which Paul showcased on telly last Sunday?

Trace the mother and child out first,
then make a box frame, using the Nested Square plate.

Blue parchment?

Colour in the panels from behind using Distress Markers.

Look below.
See how you can inject blueness 
by simply laying a sheet of blue parchment underneath?

Here we have used the A5 blue from the two-tones collection.
I think this is a good taster pack. It gives you a selection of the various colours.

Then, if you particularly like one of the colours, 
you can order a pack of it alone. 

If you go with a dark blue, an opaque piece of card, 
it seems to dull the parchment down too much.

Very very simple card.
Great for making batches or selling as sets.

To that end, we have actually gathered all 5 windows in a bundle
so that when you buy all 5,
you only pay for 4.

Let me treat you to a beautiful Stained Glass Window Feast by Tina Cox....

Now that’s what I call a masterpiece.

For those of you who are stampers, these are also available in stamp format....

And for those of you who like a stencil, guess what?!

Anybody who makes cards for charity or to sell, 
these stained glass windows are ideal.

Love & hugs

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

It’s a Monkey of a Month!!!

Hi there.
Thank you for joining me today.
Wednesday’s blog - when we just stop and try to figure out 
what we are actually doing!

We’ve been back on the TV prep today, Paul and I.

Paul and Dave are off up to Port Sunlight tomorrow, 
to hook up with Heather, Len and Maria 
for another very, very busy little one-day event.

I am staying back, to get ready for TV Sunday and Monday.

To be honest I need a little time alone in my art room, 
just so that I can get on top of stuff and have a clean up.
File some stamps and stencils, tidy the room,
clear the mind.

I cannot see the spot I am standing on;
I need to step back and reconfigure....

We knew September would be a monkey of a month -
and we weren’t wrong.
But when it goes right, as it did at Tennants in Leyburn last weekend, then it is so worth all the effort.

This was a couple of hours into the set up on the Friday.
To build a Demo Day from scratch is no mean feat!

The next day the whole Clarity Crew were there, 
all set to rock n roll.

A couple of hours later, the hall was packed with friends of Clarity!

The hall was full of you guys from this here blog, too!
I had a shout out and arranged for us to meet outside the Clarityroom at the huge antique table, didn’t I?

It was superb.
You should have seen your faces as we went round the table, 
giving our names!
So much excitement and chatter!
It was about time you met up properly, eh. 

And in the twinkling of an eye, it was all over, 
everything back in the van.

Was it successful? I’ll say!! And I don’t just mean financially, although those that attended certainly came with a shopping list!

The atmosphere, the vibe, the energy in the room. 
That was the magic.

Will we be back to Tennants?
We have reserved the same room for next year already - and the one next door! It was a little bit tight, and we just needed a little more room to manoeuvre.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rodney Tennant,
 the owner of said Auction Rooms.
Very nice gentleman. 

There was a large Country House Auction/Sale in progress during the 2 days we were there - hence all the amazing antiques everywhere.
Whilst in conversation with Rodney Tennants, 
I said that I found it quite sad to see a whole household, 
a family home, being dissolved in that way.
He nodded, and told me that many years ago, when he had first joined Sothebys as a young lad, 
his then boss told him the following:

“Welcome to the world of Divorce, Debt and Death. These are mostly the only occasions when people sell their belongings.”

Now of course, he runs his own immensely successful 
family business.

But I made my own observation too...

When everybody had left, the public had gone home, 
and we were the last people in the building, breaking down the stands again and loading up the van,
there were two men still in the building with us:

Rodney and his General Manager, another very pleasant chap. 
That impressed me.
They both waved us goodbye before locking the door for the evening. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Happy Anniversary !!!

Hi there,
Thanks for popping in.

Tuesday’s blog is usually inky, isn’t it?
Well we did look at a fab colour blend yesterday, with Oh Joy!
So you can always scroll back if you need an inky fix.

Instead today, I want to blog a special card for a special occasion.
27th September is a big day in our home;
it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary!

Mum loves fuchsias too....

So Jayne’s fuchsias are just perfect....

58 years ago today, 
they got married in a little church in the north of Germany,
in a little village called Sande.

Yesterday, Mum was talking about their Polterabend.
(pronounced pollta-arbend)
This is when your neighbours and friends come to your home the evening before the wedding day,
 and smash a load of crockery in the front!
The happy couple then have to sweep all the mess up together, 
and a party ensues!
I have been to a few Polterabende over the years, 
and they are such fun!!

I guess instead of having the girls go off for a hen do 
and the boys go out on a stag,
in Germany they stick together.
As they mean to continue, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s the German way.

So this is the little card I made to celebrate the occasion....


Now I must get going!
We are taking Mum and Dad out for a posh meal tonight,
and time is ticking on....

Love & hugs

Monday, 26 September 2016

Oh Joy!!

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in today.
Oh Joy??
Oh boy!!
Am I pooped today!
Tried to have a day off and couldn't even rustle up the energy to buy anything at John Lewis!
(You KNOW it’s bad when I leave JLs empty handed! ).

On Sunday, whilst we were having fun at Crafters Companion flagship store in Newton Aycliffe, 
Paul was having fun on Hochanda.

(If you missed any of the shows, you can watch again on catchup via the Hochanda website. Paul was on at 11am, 2pm & 5pm)
Didn't he do well?!? 

This is one of the demos he did during the 5pm show, using the 

Let’s go through it, shall we?

Take a piece of A5 Theuva Card and dust with some talcum powder
(this will stop the embossing powder sticking where it shouldn’t!)
Stamp with Black Archival ink and sprinkle Clear Embossing Powder over the image. 
Tap off the excess powder and then using a heat gun, heat from underneath on a slow setting until the embossing powder melts.

Stamp out the Joy stamp onto a sheet of copy paper, 
and then cut out the centre of the “O”.

When cutting, make sure that you cut into part of the “O”
By doing this, it means that if you do not line it up perfectly, 
you won’t get a shadow.

Now take a selection of the Artistry Ink Pads.
Paul went with Golden Turmeric, Blushing Rose and Blaze.

Lay the mask you have created over the stamped image and tape it into place.  Position a tiny moon/sun mask inside the “O”

Load up a stencil brush with blaze and sweep the colour backwards
 and forwards in the top half of the “O”. 
Repeat with the Blushing Rose in the bottom half of the “O”

This will give you a base coat.

Take a makeup sponge and the Golden Turmeric and blend the Blaze and Blushing Rose.

Remove the moon/sun mask and use the brush with the Blaze. Gently sweep over it to take away the whiteness.

Now let’s create a little scene using some of the smaller stamps in the set.

Once you are happy with your design, 
remove the mask and trim the card down.

Take a ruler and Micron pen and draw 3 lines.
The C-Thru ruler makes it very easy to do this as the lines on the ruler are a perfect guide.

Using the low-tack masking tape, mask off the first border.

Take a make up sponge and Blaze ink pad and apply the colour, repeat with the Golden Turmeric to tone down the red to create the same tone within your image.

Repeat with the second border, this time using the Blushing Rose and then the Golden Turmeric.

Before mounting onto a 6x6 or 8x8 card blank, 
use the ink that is still on your brushes 
to apply shade and colour to the background.

All ties in nicely. 

Time to have a little siesta....
in readiness for Poldaaaark tonight!
(recorded, so don’t spill the beans!!)

I reckon George is just about to get his comeuppance.
The servant (T’aint fair, t’aint friendly), who was killed, but then miraculously came back to life, is SURELY going to sober up long enough to identify his would-be murderer!!
Don’t tell me!! I am livin’ it!!!

Love & hugs,

Sunday, 25 September 2016

No blog today...what more can I say?

No blog today,
We're on the motorway,
The road is very long,
Do you recognise this song?

No blog today
The van's still not halfway,
I've really got the nark....
I'm missing my Poldaaaaaark.

Barb xxxx